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Monday, June 4

Javed Saheb Ki Baatein

This is my second post in the past few months on/about Javed Akhtar. I am kinda enamoured by the man. Amidst all the mediocrity that floats in Bollywood he still manages to pen down beautiful lyrics, share great thoughts and imbue a poets sensibility to all things around.

In fact some time back when I took an Incubates session, I put Javed Saheb in my top 5 planners list outside of advertising!!

Over the week-end read an interview of his. Two of his comments are worth noting from the interview.

Q. What's the flip side of being a judge?
JA. When somebody with great hope comes to me with very little capability, I feel very awkward to break that illusion. On one hand you are irritated by this person's high opinions, but, on the other hand, you feel bad. Is it right to break their illusion and make them unhappy for the rest of their lives is one question I grapple with. In hindsight, I think that's the right thing to do though it makes me very uncomfortable.

It's a dilemma one often faces in work life as well...But it's tough to take a call and pass judgement. Many years back, one of my early bosses advised me to give up planning as he felt I was not good enough. Luckily, it just made a small dent in my pride/ego. I stuck to my conviction:-)

Q. What are the challenges involved in writing for a period film like Jodha Akbar?
JA. - You have to understand the ethos of any story whether it's set in the modern time or the past.

- I try to understand the wavelength of a film, its temperament and ethos, the intellectual and social level of its characters, and then try to bring the right vocabulary to the songs.

I love the way he approaches his lyrics. His nuanced understanding, depth of research never fails to impress me. If you can lay your hands on do pick up Javed Akhtar's Talking Films - his conversations about Indian cinema. I think it's the best 'branding book by an Indian'!

In case you are interested you could have a dekko at my Oct 16 post - Branding Gyan from Javed Akhtar!

Picture courtesy www.bbc.co.uk

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